Featherstone Castle

Has been described as a Certain Tower House

There are major building remains

NameFeatherstone Castle
Alternative NamesFeeatherstonhaughe; Fetherstonehaugh; Fetherstonhawgh; Fetherstonhaughe
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishFeatherstone

Country house. Possibly an early C13 hall-house (now incorporated in west range) with early C14 south-west tower; early C17 alterations; remainder c.1812-30 for Thomas Wallace. Coursed rubble with dressings; slate and stone- flagged roofs; stone chimneys. 4 ranges with corner towers around a rectangular courtyard; nursery wing on north-east tower. Castellated style. Mainly C19 fenestration and embattled parapets.

Embattled west front. Buttressed 2-storey hall range: early C17 ogee-headed doorway to cross-passage (possibly re-set early C13 pointed doorway facing courtyard at far end of passage); two c.1330 cross windows with cusped trefoiled heads. 3-stage early C14 L-plan south-west tower: mullioned windows; scattered loops; original parapet on head corbels with corner bartizans; slightly-taller look-out turret. L-plan stairway to 2-storey added porch on west face of tower. 3-stage north-west tower: small (re-set?) C13 angle buttress; windows with arched heads; taller stair turret; single-storey, 2-bay addition on north.

Embattled south front. Early C14 tower at west. 3-bay centre with taller 2-storey semicircular bay and tower on east have mainly grouped lights with arched heads. Porch on south face of east tower has 4-centred archway and battered angle buttresses. L-plan stair and screen wall on east return of porch.

Buttressed 2-storey, 4-bay east range: mullioned windows with cinquefoil heads; pointed doorway; low-pitched stone-flagged roof. Taller north-east tower has similar details as south-east tower. 2-storey, 4-bay nursery wing has mainly mullioned windows with arched heads, crowstepped east gable and 2-storey semicircular bay on rear.

North range partly hidden by later outbuildings may incorporate earlier masonry; flanking east and west towers already described.

Single-storey wing in courtyard links east and west ranges.

Interior greatly altered in C19

South-west tower: 2 barrel-vaulted basements; fragments of spiral stone stair on second floor. C19 Tudor-Gothic decoration in west range. (Listed Building Report)

Featherstone Castle is a large and complex country house. It is four-sided with a central courtyard and a tower at each corner. The tallest tower is C14 and is the main piece of medieval work in the building. The origins of the castle lie in the medieval period when the manor of Featherstone belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family. The oldest part of the building may be a C13 hall house, which now lies within the west range, or Gun Room. This early work is difficult to interpret and some of it may not be in its original position. In C14 the tower was added to the building and it is typical of many towers in south Northumberland. Little changed at the castle from this time until C17, when it was remodelled. (Keys to the Past)

Gatehouse Comments

Mentioned in 1541 as “At Feeatherstonhaughe ys a toure of thinherytaunce of Alexander Featherstonhaughe of the same in good rep'ac'ons.”

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY673609
Latitude54.9421806335449
Longitude-2.51062989234924
Eastings367380
Northings560960
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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Books

  • Geldard, Ed, 2009, Northumberland Strongholds (London: Frances Lincoln) p. 102
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 381-2
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 54
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 93-4
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 185
  • Jackson, M.J.,1992, Castles of Northumbria (Carlisle) p. 64-6 (plan)
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 278-9
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 11, 48
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 333
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 231
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 159-64
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 104
  • Pevsner, N., 1957, Buildings of England: Northumberland (London) p. 152
  • Hugill, R.,1939, Borderland Castles and Peles (1970 Reprint by Frank Graham) p. 103-5
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Tomlinson, W.W., 1897, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 175-7
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 48 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 388 online copy
  • Hodgson, J., 1840, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 2 Vol. 3 p. 356-7 online copy
  • Mackenzie, E., 1825, History of Northumberland Vol. 2 (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 316
  • Hodgson, J. and Laird, F., 1813, Beauties of England and Wales; Northumberland Vol. 12 p. 114-5
  • Hutchinson, Wm, 1776, A View of Northumberland (Newcastle) Vol. 1 p. 10-11 online transcription

Journals

  • Cornforth, J., 1973 Dec 13, Country Life p. 2024
  • Cornforth, J., 1973 Oct, Country Life p. 1246-9
  • 1930, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 30 p. 207-8 online copy
  • Gibson, J., 1926, 'Featherstone Castle, Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 2 p. 125-31
  • Hodgson, J.C., 1916, 'List of Ruined Towers, Chapels, etc., in Northumberland; compiled about 1715 by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, aided by John Horsley' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser3) Vol. 13 p. 8 abridged transcription
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 48 online copy
  • 1888, The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend p. 401-2 online copy

Primary Sources

Other

  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 66-71